A senior government lawyer, who had been expected to represent the coroner in a high-profile inquest into the gun battle between three police officers in a Tsim Sha Tsui underpass in March, has been sidelined. According to a source close to the investigation, senior government counsel Diane Crebbin - who was in line to lead the evidence for the coroner at the inquest - has been told she will not now be needed. Ms Crebbin - better known as Dee - has been advising the police on the legal technicalities of their investigation since the gunfight on March 17, which left constable Tsang Kwok-hang, 33, and off-duty constable Tsui Po-ko, 35, dead and Constable Sin Ka-keung seriously wounded. She has been the Department of Justice's inquest policy co-ordinator since the early 1990s and coroner's officer in a number of high-profile inquests - most recently the hearing which cleared Anson Chan Fang On-sang's brother John Fang Meng-sang over the bizarre death of former model Annie Pang Chor-ying. The source said acting Director of Public Prosecutions Arthur Luk Yee-shun would instead carry out the job of coroner's officer at the inquest, which is expected to be heard before Coroner Michael Chan Pik-kiu. Mr Luk did not return calls seeking comment. A Department of Justice spokesman said: 'We have not decided whether there will be an inquest or not, so who will or won't be the coroner's officer isn't known.' But the source said: 'Of course there will be an inquest. The second report has been sent to the coroner's office and they are now waiting for reports such as ballistics to come from overseas. 'The coroner wants the inquest held in Cantonese. It's my understanding [Ms Crebbin] is none too happy.' She has not been relieved of her duties advising the police. The government may have made the switch to be seen to be putting a more senior person in charge because of the seriousness of the case. At a special hearing of the Legislative Council's security panel to discuss the shootings in April, Ms Crebbin sat alongside assistant commissioner of police John Lee Ka-chiu and offered legal advice throughout. The police have linked the shootings to the murder of another police officer - constable Leung Shing-yan in 2001 - and the slaying of Hang Seng Bank security guard Zafar Iqbal Khan during a robbery later the same year. They say one of the dead officers - Tsui - was solely responsible for all three killings. Another senior government lawyer said: 'It looks like a top-down decision to put the right man in for the right job.' Ms Crebbin could not be reached for comment.